Momentum - February 2021 - 17

Roger Hart, Michigan Photography

Built with wheeled appendages that can be lifted and wheels
able to wiggle, a new robot known as the " Mini Rover " has
developed and tested complex
locomotion techniques robust
enough to help it climb hills
covered with very granular
material-and avoid the risk of
getting stuck on some remote
planet or moon. Using a
complex move that researchers
from Georgia Institute of
Technology have dubbed " rear
Built with multifunctional
rotator pedaling, " the robot
appendages able to spin wheels that
can climb a slope by using its
can also be wiggled and lifted, the
unique design to combine
Mini Rover was modeled on a novel
paddling, walking, and wheelNASA rover design and used in the
spinning motions. The rover's
laboratory to develop and test
behaviors were modeled using
complex locomotion techniques
a branch of physics known as
robust enough to help it climb hills
terradynamics. By avalanching composed of granular material
materials from the front
(ordinary beach sand in this photo).
wheels, it creates a localized
fluid hill for the back wheels
that is not as steep as the real slope. The rover is always selfgenerating and self-organizing a good hill for itself.

The Mcity Driverless Shuttle makes two stops on the University of
Michigan's North Campus on its one-mile route.
Mcity at the University of Michigan completed its driverless
shuttle research project in 2019 with a safety record free of
major incidents. Results of Mcity's consumer survey, conducted
in partnership with global market research firm J.D. Power,
showed that 86% of riders said they trusted the technology
after riding in it, as did 66% of nonriders surveyed. U-M donated
one of two shuttles used for the project to a museum, The
Henry Ford. Manufactured by French firm Navya, the shuttles
were fully automated, all-electric, and carried eleven
passengers. Mcity is a public-private connected and automated
vehicle research center led by U-M.



Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame are pairing
their extensive hypersonics research and facilities to improve
the technology's next
generation of high-speed
vehicles capable of flying at
Mach 5 and beyond as part of
a $5.8 million program
supported by the Air Force
Research Laboratory (AFRL).
The two-university
multidisciplinary effort lays the
groundwork for Purdue's
continuing role in one of the
U.S. Department of Defense's
Students work with Purdue's Mach 6
top modernization priorities.
quiet wind tunnel. The tunnel will be
Both universities are home to
involved in research by a new
separate Mach 6 quiet wind
multidisciplinary hypersonics
tunnels as well as unique
combustion facilities. The
16-member faculty team from both universities will experiment,
model, and simulate propulsion systems, air flow, heat transfer,
and overall design of flight vehicles. n

February 2021 17

Purdue University/John Underwood


Seong Kim

Extremely slippery surface coatings, such as diamond-like carbon
(DLC), hold great potential for extremely low-friction surfaces
that are more efficient and durable in automotive systems,
medical devices, and other products, according to a team of
researchers from Penn State and University of California Merced.
While attaining extremely low
friction is possible in inert
environmental conditions, this
superlubricity is not observed
in the presence of atmospheric
moisture, which limits the
effectiveness of DLC coatings.
Graphene is a 0.34 nm thick
sheet of two-dimensionally
bonded carbon atoms with
hexagonal symmetry. While it is
known for the super-lubricity
Schematic illustration and atomicon the basal plane of graphite,
scale rendering of a silica AFM tip
friction at the location where
sliding up and down a single-layer
graphene step edge on an
the graphene sheet ends -
atomically flat graphite surface.
called the step edge - is
poorly understood. The
research team team studied a graphene step edge using atomic
force microscopy, which involved scanning a sharp tip over a
surface as it makes high-resolution measurements of local
properties such as height and friction.

Christopher Moore, Georgia Tech



Momentum - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2021

Momentum - February 2021 - Cover1
Momentum - February 2021 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2021 - 1
Momentum - February 2021 - 2
Momentum - February 2021 - 3
Momentum - February 2021 - 4
Momentum - February 2021 - 5
Momentum - February 2021 - 6
Momentum - February 2021 - 7
Momentum - February 2021 - 8
Momentum - February 2021 - 9
Momentum - February 2021 - 10
Momentum - February 2021 - 11
Momentum - February 2021 - 12
Momentum - February 2021 - 13
Momentum - February 2021 - 14
Momentum - February 2021 - 15
Momentum - February 2021 - 16
Momentum - February 2021 - 17
Momentum - February 2021 - 18
Momentum - February 2021 - 19
Momentum - February 2021 - 20
Momentum - February 2021 - 21
Momentum - February 2021 - 22
Momentum - February 2021 - 23
Momentum - February 2021 - 24
Momentum - February 2021 - 25